Messi Surpasses Daei as No. 2 All-Time Goalscorer in Men’s International Football, Still Chasing Ronaldo by 21 Goals

Messi Surpasses Daei as No. 2 All-Time Goalscorer in Men’s International Football, Still Chasing Ronaldo by 21 Goals

Lionel Messi broke a tie with Iran’s Ali Daei to become the second all-time top scorer in men’s international football with a goal against Canada in the Copa America semifinals. 

The Argentine’s 51st minute goal was his 109th for La Albiceleste. Aside from securing a chance to compete for their second straight Copa America title with a 2-0 win, Messi’s scoring effort moved him one goal clear of the Iranian legend. 

However, Messi will have to score 21 more goals in international colors to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo’s 130 for Portugal. 

Messi’s scrappy effort from close range was his first goal for the 2023 Copa America and 14th overall in the tournament. 

Before getting ahead, Messi tied Daei on the all-time scoring list with two goals in a 4-1 win over Guatemala in the eve of Copa America’s kickoff in the United States.  

Lionel Messi became the second-highest goalscorer in international football on Tuesday 

With a goal against Canada in the Copa America semifinal, Messi broke his tie with Ali Daei

With a goal against Canada in the Copa America semifinal, Messi broke his tie with Ali Daei

Aside from moving up in the goalscoring ranks, Messi broke another record in this year’s tournament with an appearance milestone in their opening game. 

In his 35th appearance across seven editions of the competition, the Inter Miami star broke a record that belonged to Chilean goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone since 1953. The future legend made his first tournament appearance in 2007. 

With Messi still trailing the Portuguese star, India’s Sunil Chhetri sits behind Daei with 93 goals for the Blue Tigers. Meanwhile, Mokhtar Dahari of Malaysia rounds up the top 5 with 89 goals. 

Across men’s and women’s divisions, Canada’s Christine Sinclair holds the all-time scoring record with 190 goals in 328 international appearances. 

Messi needs 21 more goals for Argentina to catch Cristiano Ronaldo's 130 goals for Portugal

Messi needs 21 more goals for Argentina to catch Cristiano Ronaldo’s 130 goals for Portugal 

With a 2-0 win, Messi helped his nation secure their second straight Copa America final berth

With a 2-0 win, Messi helped his nation secure their second straight Copa America final berth

Messi led Argentina to Copa America glory in 2021 before winning the World Cup in 2022

Messi led Argentina to Copa America glory in 2021 before winning the World Cup in 2022 

After winning the Copa America in 2021, Messi led Argentina to winning the FIFA World Cup in Qatar the following year. 

His record books now include 186 caps, 109 goals, and 56 assists for his nation. 

While bidding for his third trophy with the senior team, Messi also holds an Olympic gold medal, which he won with Argentina’s U-23 side at the Beijing Games in 2008.  

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